While legal definitions of stalking vary from one jurisdiction to another, a good working definition of stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.

  • 6.6 million people are stalked in one year in the United States.
  • 1 in 6 women and 1 in 19 men have experienced stalking victimization at some point during their lifetime in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.Using a less conservative definition of stalking, which considers any amount of fear (i.e., a little fearful, somewhat fearful, or very fearful), 1 in 4 women and 1 in 13 men reported being a victim of stalking in their lifetime.
  • The majority of stalking victims are stalked by someone they know. 66% of female victims and 41% of male victims of stalking are stalked by a current or former intimate partner.
  • More than half of female victims and more than 1/3 of male victims of stalking indicated that they were stalked before the age of 25.
  • About 1 in 5 female victims and 1 in 14 male victims experienced stalking between the ages of 11 and 17. 

***[Michele C. Black et al., “The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Summary Report,”

 (Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011).]

  • 46% of stalking victims experience at least one unwanted contact per week.
  • 11% of stalking victims have been stalked for 5 years or more.

***[Katrina Baum et al., “Stalking Victimization in the United States,”(Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2009).]

  Stalking Laws

  • Stalking is a crime under the laws of 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Territories, and the Federal government.
  • Less than 1/3 of states classify stalking as a felony upon first offense.
  • More than 1/2 of states classify stalking as a felony upon second or subsequent offense or when the crime involves aggravating factors.
  • Aggravating factors may include: possession of a deadly weapon, violation of a court order or condition of probation/parole, victim under 16 years, or same victim as prior occasions.

***For a compilation of state, tribal, and federal laws visit


If you fear you may be the victim of stalking please contact one of the following offices

  • Public Safety                                          270-809-2222

  • Office of Student Affairs                        270-809-6831

  • University Counseling Services             270-809-6851

  • MSU Women’s Center                             270-809-3140


Visit for more information about how to keep yourself and others safe!